The following picture and text are taken from the 15 June 1980 edition of Presence, a newsletter of the Archdiocese of Ottawa.
The Family was the theme at the recent meeting of the Ontario Diocesan Directors of Religious Education held at the Diocesan Centre. After a challenging introduction on the concept of Family today, Fr. Claude Michaud, Research Director (Family Sector) of Pax Vobis, facilitated a sharing by the members on their research on the helpful and harmful factors of family growth. In his introductory comments, Fr. Michaud indicated that according to 1979 statistics, there were in Canada 5,970,700 “healthy” families. He identified “healthy” as having parents together. Although it is important to help the broken families, one must also be attentive to the needs of normal families and to help facilitate their human and spiritual growth.
A panel discussion on the document Catechesis in our Time was also a feature of the meeting. Rev. David Walsh spoke on the liturgical dimension of the document, Rev. Bill Marrevee, the theological, and Rev. Claude Michaud, the sociological, while Bernadette Gasslein, Rev. Bill Russell and Rev. Francis Reed responded from a Catechist’s point of view. This critical analysis of the document—highlighting its strengths and weaknesses—provided a good basis for future use of it.
At the business meeting, a new slate of officers was elected. Past President, Rev. Francis Reed, Sault Ste. Marie (in lieu of Rev. Mike Grace, who was appointed Vocation Director for the Toronto Archdiocese); President—Sister Norren Connelly, C.S.J., Thunder Bay; Vice-President—Rev. Tim Flaherty, Thunder Bay; Secretary/ Treasurer—Mr. Gerry Woodman, Hamilton.
Representatives from the dioceses of Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Pembroke, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catherine’s, Thunder Bay, Toronto as well as from the National Office were present. It was unanimously decided that Sister Catherine Fenn, C.S.J. Toronto, be given an honourary membership in the organization for her outstanding work for Religious Education in Canada.